One of the important trends of 2019 in email marketing was the beginning of the introduction of AMP technology, which was previously used to accelerate the work of mobile versions of sites. Many marketers and email marketers were very enthusiastic and were looking forward to implementing AMP support, as the new technology promised to make email emails interactive.
But to what extent is this technology really applicable now, what difficulties will you encounter in its implementation and what results can be expected? We answer these questions in the article.
What is AMP?
AMP (short for Accelerated Mobile Pages) is Google’s web component framework. The project was launched in October 2015 with the goal of improving the performance of the mobile web. Initially, many major publishers and publishers of online content participated in the development of the project, including Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and WordPres.
Already in 2016, the first pages created using AMP technology became available to users, and Google began to highlight such sites in mobile issuance.
The official site of the AMP project lists 7 main reasons why the use of technology allows you to speed up the work of sites:
- Dimensions of external elements are set statically. As a result, the framework “knows” what size the images and other elements will be on the page, before they are actually loaded.
- AMP prevents rendering blocking by external page extensions.
- Only CSS inline styles are allowed.
- AMP has a mechanism that prevents blocking the download of web fonts.
- Recalculation of styles is minimized. DOM read operations occur before the start of all data writing processes.
AMP and email
In the spring of 2019, the leading email providers: Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, Mail.ru. announced the introduction of AMP technology for email. This news was encouraging for many marketers, because now it has theoretically become possible to create truly interactive letters.
In standard email messages, all interaction with subscribers is carried out using links, and any animations are added as GIF images.
Conversely, with the help of individual MIME types it is possible to create galleries with scrolling images directly in the letter, attach forms, product cards with the possibility of buying from letters.
Moreover, letters from AMP can be changed in real time. That is, it is not difficult for the sender to change the displayed content in the already sent and received message. For example, this can be useful in the case of ecommerce newsletters: if the discounts in the letter have lost their relevance, you can “pull up” the current prices for all the mentioned goods into it.
Limitations of New Technology
First of all, it should be said that, despite the novelty of AMP, in fact, experiments with interactivity in email marketing have been conducted for quite some time. Many companies launched the so-called kinetic mailings, in which interactive elements were implemented using various life hacks using HTML and CSS. This did not work in all email clients, but still made it possible to partially cover the database with interactive letters for some time.
The problem with AMP is that the technology does not yet allow a dramatic increase in coverage for interactive newsletters. According to various estimates, even in the USA, the audience of all clients supporting AMP accounts for 36% of all open emails, while the share of various Apple mail clients where there is no AMP support out of the box accounts for 45% of openings.
AMP for email technology is actually supported on desktop devices by only a few mail providers, the largest of which are Gmail and Mail.ru. In the fall, Outlook announced the launch of beta support for AMP. Testing of support for dynamic emails on mobile devices in the late fall of 2019 was still ongoing.
In addition, in order to take advantage of the new technology, you need to learn a special markup language. Google described it well, but a lot of time would have to be spent on the documentation.
To use AMP, you need to add a new MIME type to letters. Regular letters contain two of these types: plain text version and HTML. When an email client cannot read HTML, it displays plain text. AMP needs a third. As a result, in clients supporting the technology, it will be loaded first, then the HTML version of the letter, and only then plain text. It turns out that marketers will need to develop and test another, additional version of the letter. The DashaMail editor supports AMP letters, and you can create elements in it, such as a carousel and accordion.
Do not forget that the use of AMP in Gmail is available only to senders with a high reputation. In order to be able to send AMP letters, you must fill out a special form. Next, Google specialists will examine the data presented and, if the applicant meets the requirements, activate a new technology for him. In order to get approval, you need to have a consistent email history with low spam complaints. Subsequently, if the mail system algorithm does not like something in the messages, the AMP version of the message will not be downloaded.
And it is worth remembering that usually an audience subscribed to email newsletters is quite conservative. E-mail has existed for decades, and people are used to a specific message format. Perhaps not everyone will appreciate interactive letters with carousels and animations. Therefore, experiments with AMP should be started carefully, testing on small segments of the base.
We summarize the main facts about AMP technology for mailing lists:
- AMP can significantly increase the conversion of certain messages like ecommerce newsletters, feedback requests, registration / subscription confirmations, etc.
- The technology really works and is safe enough. AMP was developed at Google, so the quality of the technology and its security are at a high level due to the initial choice of architecture.
- Implementing AMP is not easy. You need to learn a new markup language, create a new MIME type and test it.
- You do not have to wait for a dramatic improvement in the performance of mailings with AMP. Today, only a small number of email providers have AMP support. This fact must be taken into account.
- Subscribers are conservative. AMP should be implemented gradually and using segmentation, carefully analyzing the results of each AMP distribution.
- To send AMP letters you need an email service that supports this technology. In DashaMail there is such an opportunity, you can connect it on request. But first make sure that you follow the requirements of Mail.ru and Gmail, and register with them to become the sender of AMP letters.
AMP technology makes it possible to experiment and improve mailing list performance, but it also takes more time to implement. If there are resources for experiments, then definitely worth a try.